It seems hard to believe that so much time has passed since that dreadful day in 1986 when the world was shocked! We watched with unbelieving eyes as the unthinkable happened: disaster! I can only imagine how many tears were shed, but the whole nation mourned the loss of those intrepid space faring heroes. This historical episode reminded me of another dreadful event in history, one that I am sure that you have heard about. Read on and see if it doesn't shock you as well
Luke 23:26-49 (WEB)
26) When they led him away, they grabbed one Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it after Jesus.
27) A great multitude of the people followed him, including women who also mourned and lamented him.
28) But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
29) For behold, the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’
30) Then they will begin to tell the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and tell the hills, ‘Cover us.’
31) For if they do these things in the green tree, what will be done in the dry?”
32) There were also others, two criminals, led with him to be put to death.
33) When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified him there with the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.
34) Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Dividing his garments among them, they cast lots.
35) The people stood watching. The rulers with them also scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself, if this is the Christ of God, his chosen one!”
36) The soldiers also mocked him, coming to him and offering him vinegar,
37) and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
38) An inscription was also written over him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
39) One of the criminals who was hanged insulted him, saying, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us!”
40) But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Don’t you even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?
41) And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.”
42) He said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
43) Jesus said to him, “Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
44) It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.
45) The sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.
46) Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” Having said this, he breathed his last.
47) When the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous man.”
48) All the multitudes that came together to see this, when they saw the things that were done, returned home beating their breasts.
49) All his acquaintances, and the women who followed with him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
Death has a way of crystallizing our thoughts. Its hard not to do this because we all know of its finality. When death comes suddenly, violently, the surprise can be overwhelming! Yet, with Jesus it was foretold thousands of years and still the thought of dying such a horrible death is shocking. However, few things have just one impact and the death of Jesus of Nazareth did have blessings. We have hope because of his sacrifice and eternal life as a reward. All we have to do is get over the shock of it all!